It was a tough go of things last weekend for the nation’s Top 4 ranked teams(Texas, Ohio St, Kansas, and Pittsburgh) in the polls, with all suffering defeats and in turn opening it up for the Duke Blue Devils to once again be ranked as the #1 team in the land. Just imagine how good they will be if freshman phenom Kyrie Irving ever returns from that darn big toe injury.
While in my opinion, the Ohio State Buckeyes are pound for pound the most complete team among the nation’s elite squads, they are not without faults. One bright spot has been the outstanding play of freshman big man Jared Sullinger, who may be the odds on favorite to be selected as the #1 pick in the upcoming 2011 NBA Draft. This season, Jared is arguably the best 1st year player in all of college basketball behind some pretty outstanding production in the paint – 18 ppg, 9.9 rebs, 1.4 ast, .567 FG%.
Outside of not possessing an overwhelming amount of athleticism, opposing teams have been hard-pressed to find many, if any weaknesses in the big man’s all around game. Many compare his skills to that of Carlos Boozer or Al Jefferson, so NBA scouts aren’t to concerned about the whole below the rim style of play he puts on display.
To add insult to injury, during the Purdue Boilermakers’ recent 76-63 win over the Buckeyes, in which Sullinger had 25 points and 6 boards, the Purdue student section may have finally found a way to get under the big man’s skin so to speak. The Paint Crew, as they like to be called has found a new way to attempt to distract Sullinger while at the free throw line by in essence….singing his favorite song.
You see, a few weeks ago, a few of the Buckeyes, including Sullinger, were persuaded by the Ohio State public relations department to do their best rendition of Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the USA”, which coincidentally was revealed later to be the big man’s favorite song. In spite of it’s cheesiness, the video airs regularly during time-outs on the videotron at Value City Arena.
Check out this funny video of the entire Paint Crew singing “Party in the USA” as Jared attempts 2 free throws. Although the talented freshman nailed both attempts, he admitted afterwards that it was definitely distracting.
Allen Moll has been a lifelong NBA and NCAA College Basketball fan who watches and studies games religiously, and coaches youth basketball in his native Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania. Allen also provides content to Bleacherreport.com, Upperdeckblog.com, in addition to being a tenured NBA and NCAA columnist for TheHoopDoctors.com.